Exploring Israel: Insights and Perspectives from Gann’s Israel Symposium

During this week’s Limmud block, our students and faculty had their choice of educational sessions as part of an Israel symposium organized by our Jewish Education Department. The symposium featured simultaneous sessions, each led by experts in their respective fields and organizations. Students and faculty had the option to select their preferred session, engaging with speakers for an interactive learning experience and Q&A. 

“Israel, Hamas, and the Laws of War,” gave students the opportunity to learn from Yale Law School Professor Yair Listokin, who clarified the basics of defining laws of war, how the laws are decided, and the distinction between laws of war and war crimes, in relation to current events in Israel and Gaza.  

Another session, “How Did We Get Here?”, provided a historical understanding of Israel’s complex history from the 1800s to the present day, presented by Jake Donnelly from the Israel-American Council of New England. Additionally, “Israel’s Primary Threats – Six Arenas, Six Dimensions,” presented by Brigadier General Omer Dagan, a former IDF soldier, delved into the primary threats Israel is facing across diverse arenas and dimensions, concluding with insights on his hopes for Israel’s future. 

Lastly, “Cultivating Coexistence and Hope Through Dialogue: Stories from an Israeli Non-Profit During Times of War,” was presented by Rachel Kalikow, Chief Development Officer at the Friends of the Arava Institute. She shared narratives from Israelis and Palestinians currently involved in environmental coexistence work and discussed the Friends of the Arava Institute’s mission of nurturing the next generation of leaders to address coexistence challenges in the Middle East.

The students expressed deep appreciation for the valuable opportunity to learn from these knowledgeable professionals. They shared that the sessions helped them better understand the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what they hear in the media. The depth of questions from students, sparked by these informative sessions, showcased the commitment of our community to in-depth learning around the challenges facing the Jewish people today.

Related Posts